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A filter for heavy hydrogen

  • 28 February 2017

Deuterium and tritium can be separated from each other relatively easily using a functionalized metal-organic framework compound

Deuterium and tritium are substances with a future - but they are rare. The heavy isotopes of hydrogen not only have numerous applications in science but could also contribute to the energy mix of tomorrow as fuels for nuclear fusion. Deuterium is also contained in some drugs that are currently undergoing regulatory approval in the US. However, the process of filtering deuterium out of the natural isotopic mixture of hydrogen is at present both difficult and expensive. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, the University of Leipzig, Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Augsburg, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA) may be able to remedy this problem. They have presented a metal-organic framework compound that can be used to separate the two isotopes from normal hydrogen more efficiently than previous methods.


3D-microdevice for minimally invasive surgeries

  • 22 February 2017

Scientists take challenge of developing functional microdevices for direct access to the brain, spinal cord, eye and other delicate parts of human body

A tiny robot that gets into the human body through the simple medical injection and, passing healthy organs, finds and treats directly the goal – a non-operable tumor… Doesn’t it sound at least like science-fiction? To make it real, a growing number of researchers are now working towards this direction with the prospect of transforming many aspects of healthcare and bioengineering in the nearest future. What makes it not so easy are unique challenges pertaining to design, fabrication and encoding functionality in producing functional microdevices.

Metin Sitti Hakan Ceylan Ceren Garip


New drive for tiny vessels

  • 14 February 2017

Miniaturized robots can be propelled through biological fluids by an enzymatic reaction or ultrasound

Nanorobots and other mini-vehicles might be able to perform important services in medicine one day – for example, by conducting remotely-controlled operations or transporting pharmaceutical agents to a desired location in the body. However, to date it has been hard to steer such micro- and nanoswimmers accurately through biological fluids such as blood, synovial fluid or the inside of the eyeball. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are now presenting two new approaches for constructing propulsion systems for tiny floating bodies. In the case of one motor, the propulsion is generated by bubbles which are caused to oscillate by ultrasound. With the other, a current caused by the product of an enzymatic reaction propels a nanoswimmer.

Peer Fischer Sámuel Sánchez


How Can We Use Machine Learning in the Search for Exoplanets?

  • 01 February 2017

Bernhard Schölkopf joined the initiative "Latest Thinking"

Exoplanets are planets beyond our own solar system. Since they do not emit much light and moreover are very close to their parent stars they are difficult to detect directly. When searching for exoplanets, astronomers use telescopes to monitor the brightness of the parent star under investigation: Changes in brightness can point to a passing planet that obstructs part of the star’s surface. The recorded signal, however, contains not only the physical signal of the star but also systematic errors caused by the instrument. As Bernhard Schölkopf explains in this video, this noise can be removed by comparing the signal of the star of interest to those of a large number of other stars. Commonalities in their signals might be due to confounding effects of the instrument. Using machine learning, these observations can be used to train a system to predict the errors and correct the light curves.

Bernhard Schölkopf


Our research in Der Spiegel und Die Zeit

  • 12 January 2017

Our nanorobots are the topic of a special report on robots in the newspaper Die Zeit and Der Spiegel has previously covered our research, also highlights our work in its 2017 March 11 issue.

Kai Melde Andrew Mark Tian Qiu Tung Chun Lee Peer Fischer


Big Data in Robotics

  • 02 January 2017

Guest edited by Jeannette Bohg, Matei Ciocarlie, Javier Civera, Lydia E. Kavraki.

... new big data methods have the potential to allow robots to understand and operate in significantly more complex environments than was possible even in the recent past. This should lead to a qualitative leap in the performance and deployability of robotics in a wide array of practical applications and real settings.

Jeannette Bohg


Peer Fischer wins World Technology Award 2016

  • 20 December 2016

Dr. Peer Fischer, head of the Micro- Nano- and Molecular Systems Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Stuttgart, has received the World Technology Award 2016. Professor Fischer was selected among 32 nominees and then among six finalists in the category “Information Technology – Hardware” that recognizes achievements in the field of IT hardware, including such significant subcategories as manufacturing and robotics.

Peer Fischer


Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize for Joachim Graefe

  • 20 December 2016

On December 8, The Association of Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin granted the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize for an outstanding PhD thesis in the research area of synchrotron radiation as well as the innovation prize “Synchrotron Radiation”. The award ceremony took place at the 8th BER II and BESSY II Users’ Meeting.


Go-ahead for Cyber Valley

  • 15 December 2016

Science and industry form one of Europe's largest research partnerships in artificial intelligence

Intelligent systems will shape our future: they could drive us as autonomous cars, help us out in the home on a daily basis or perform medical services as tiny robots. An initiative by the Max Planck Society and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in the Stuttgart-Tübingen area is bringing together partners from science and industry to establish Cyber Valley where systems can be developed that will be capable of performing such feats. Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science in Baden-Württemberg and Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, together with the other project participants, have launched the initiative on Thursday, 15 December 2016 in Stuttgart's Neues Schloss.

Matthias Tröndle


ICERM Seminar on Probabilistic Scientific Computing

  • 13 December 2016

An upcoming workshop in June 2017 will explore applications of probabilistic numerics.

Philipp Hennig